Walking down the Orange Street Alley in Redlands, CA, one quickly notices the presence of art all around. One striking piece is the mural on the exterior of Cheesewalla’s flagship store. The mural, commissioned by Cheesewalla co-owner Kadir Fakir, was created by artist James McClung—a Redlands native known for his original art and branding for companies such as Augie’s Coffee, Parliament Chocolate, and The Wheelhouse LA, among others.
According to Fakir, “The mural represents two things to me. One is that it shows the evolution of the city. Redlands isn't just about oranges and palm trees. It has so much to offer people. Also, it has given us an opportunity to get involved with the art movement in Redlands. The Redlands art culture has been growing so much and this piece has allowed us to be a small part of it.”
The mural utilizes geometric shapes that symbolize different elements of nature—earth, water, the sun, and sky—and covers fifteen hundred square feet on the hundred-year-old building. The mural stands as a symbol of the vibrant art culture that is being cultivated in the city.
According to Robb Pearson, founder of the Downtown Redlands Art Walk, “James' mural for Cheesewalla represents everything I would like to see in downtown Redlands—local businesses working with local artists to refresh our beautiful city, enhancing historic properties with a new perspective, and creating new spaces amongst our history."
A two-and-a-half month process, the mural stands as one of James’ largest commissions to date, one filled with challenges and triumphs. And ultimately, one that brought about a feeling of accomplishment, both personally and professionally, for the full-time artist.
When asked about the mural James replied, “The mere size of the mural made me realize that the preparation done beforehand still didn’t adequately prepare me for the obstacles and challenges I was going to face. From the rough canvas I had to paint on to the shear fatigue I faced day in and day out, I knew that I had to take the time and make sure attention was given to every detail and that I paced myself for the the entirety of the project. The challenges only inspired me and pushed me through to the very end."
The mural is located down the Orange Street Alley
5 E. State Street in Redlands, CA.
Words & Photography